Those following the news about the assault of CBS reporter Lara Logan would have noted a few points; firstly, that there was an attempt to blame pro-Mubarak supporters for the assault, even though Mubarak had already quit, and celebrating anti-Mubarak crowds were present in Tahrir Square at the time. Then, there was brief mention of the fact that there were cries of “Jew, Jew”as she was assaulted, but that statements as to who was responsible were limited. (Al Jazeera barely mentioned it. and finally, a US reporter with the obviously Jewish name of Nir Rosen, was condemned and sacked for writing mocking remarks about Logan.
To put it all together, Caroline Glick has written an excellent primer about identity politics and victimhood. First, shed no tears for Nir Rosen, who Glick describes as a radical leftist whose “writings reveal him as an anti-Semite and an anti- American. Rosen has written prolifically about his hope to see Israel destroyed. His war reporting from Afghanistan and Iraq unfailingly takes the side of America’s enemies. He was an embedded reporter with the Taliban and is an outspoken champion of Hezbollah, Hamas and the Taliban.
Rosen’s hateful politics have brought him book contracts, prestigious fellowships, interviews on influential television shows and even a request to give testimony before the US Senate. His work has been published in elite magazines and newspapers. No one batted a lash when he called for Israel to be destroyed or supported the Taliban – whose treatment of women and girls is among the most brutal in history. But for attacking Logan, he was excommunicated from polite society.”
Caroline Glick notes that “Identity politics revolve around the narrative of victimization. For adherents to identity politics, the victim is not a person, but a member of a privileged victim group. That is, the status of victimhood is not determined by facts, but by membership in an identity group. Stories about victims are not dictated by facts. Victim stories are tailored to fit the victim. Facts, values and individual responsibility are all irrelevant. In light of this, a person’s membership in specific victim groups is far more important than his behavior. And there is a clear pecking order of victimhood in identity politics.
Anti-American Third World national, religious and ethnic groups are at the top of the victim food chain. They out-victim everyone else. After them come the Western victims: Racial minorities, women, homosexuals, children and animals.
Israelis, Jews, Americans, white males and rich people are the predetermined perpetrators. No matter how badly they are victimized, brave reporters will go to heroic lengths to ignore, underplay or explain away their suffering. In cases when victim groups are attacked by victim groups – for instance when Iraqis were attacked by Saddam, or Palestinians are attacked by the PA, the media tend to ignore the story. When members of Western victim groups are attacked by Third World victims, the story can be reported, but with as little mention of the identity of the victim-perpetrators as possible. So it was with coverage of Logan and the rest of the foreign reporters assaulted in Egypt. They were attacked by invisible attackers with no identities, no barbaric values, no moral responsibility, and no criminal culpability. CBS went so far as to blur the faces of the men who surrounded Logan in the moments before she was attacked.”
Glick’s comments help in understanding identity politics, although her initial statement is clear that “identity politics are nothing more than socially acceptable bigotry!”